Published On: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Original Publisher: Carpenter Contractor Trust
Benjamin Boswell was honored by the Food Pantry with the Young Ambassador Helping Fight Hunger Award and has served as the Captain of the A.O.W.’s CANstruction team from the start resulting in them raising a staggering $50,000 and counting...
Authored By: Benjamin R. Boswell, Project Manager, A.O.W. Associates, Inc.
CANstruction is an annual exhibit and design competition that brings together talented contractors, engineers, architects and students from the Capital Region to create sculptures that are built completely out of canned food items.
One of the dozen teams participating this year is A.O.W. Associates, Inc., an NRCC signatory contractor. Mr. Boswell has played a pivotal role in helping to raise awareness of food insecurity throughout the Capital Region. 2018 marks the third year for AOW’s participation, and they have definitely proved to be a worthy contender having raised over $50,000 for this national food-donation and fundraising campaign.
For the second year running, A.O.W. won the CANstruction award for Most Cans in their structure. Last year A.O.W. produced 12,000 cans and this year they packed 7,500 cans into their structure. Furthermore, A.O.W. has won the CANstruction award for Most Money Raised for two consecutive years and they’re hoping to capture the victory again this year.
Each team uses thousands of non-perishable food cans to build their sculptures with each team responsible for raising funds to buy these cans. Nicki Armsby, A.O.W.’s Chief Financial Officer, plays a pivotal role in A.O.W.’s fundraising campaign. A.O.W.’s can total is over 25,000 cans and with every one dollar supplying 6.25 pounds of food to a hungry neighbor, this amount helps the Food Pantry tremendously.
“In addition, A.O.W. sponsors the Food Pantries for the Capital Districts’ Fall Harvest Festival. When you see first-hand just how much this region needs, it’s fulfilling to know how much of an impact our fundraising and sponsorship efforts has and can provide for them,” Boswell said.
The CANstruction theme this year is "Bon Voyage". Throughout the years, A.O.W. has invested a lot of time into designing their structures. Envision Architects designed their 2018 structure and the Envision team worked side by side with the A.O.W. crew on building the structure which is on display in the New York State Museum for two weeks. Admission is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring canned goods to place in bins near each sculpture which in turn will result in a vote for their favorite structure.
“In 2015, after meeting with The Food Pantries for the Capital District regarding CANstruction event, I felt that I wanted to help out more. I realized there was a lot more that could be done to help than this one event,” Boswell said. “After that, I volunteered at Mt. Ida in Troy distributing food to people in need for two years. It made me realize how critical this event is to providing food in our region. CANstruction means not only a lot to me but to the whole team at A.O.W. Associates too,” Boswell added.